United have only scored first once this season, this needs to change

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Western United’s Mark Rudan believes his side can change their slow starting ways against the Central Coast Mariners this Sunday, despite only finding the net first once this season.

The side has only scored first in one match this season, in their 1-1 draw with Perth Glory, and for their past four games, the Green and Blacks have struggled to get moving early.

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They have fallen a goal behind in the first half and, despite all their efforts, have not recovered from the deficit and lost valuable points as a result.

Ahead of Sunday’s game against the Central Coast Rudan said he was confident his team could get over their starting issues.

“We need to start better but it’s a mental block the boys have to get over,” he said.

“They train and prepare well, but the next progression to that is making sure that on the pitch we’re more aggressive when we start.”

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United were the favourites to win against the Newcastle Jets but were stunned by Angus Thurgate’s first-half goal and were unable to scramble their way back in front.

Alessandro Diamanti, Connor Pain and Scott McDonald all had brilliant showings against the Jets. Yet, despite throwing everything they had, United was unable to make any key moments count.

Rudan said United’s loss to Newcastle was a positive learning curb and their time on the road would give them necessary perspective for the rest of the season.

“The theme of this week has been to start on the first foot and to take that to the opposition in Central Coast,” he said.

“The boys have a lot of experience, but players still need to be coached and managed.”

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“When the boy’s experience comes into question and they’re not doing what is asked of them, they need to try and rectify that quickly.”

The contest against the Mariners is the perfect opportunity to raise United’s confidence again as they will need when they face Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory in upcoming weeks.

Rudan said he was sure the time away from home would give his team necessary perspective for the rest of the season.

Alen Stajcic’s side seem to have the opposite issues in comparison. The Mariners started strong against Adelaide United but ultimately their tenacity was short-lived losing 3-1.

With the home advantage, Central Coast will be scrambling to gain some points against United this Sunday.

Feature Image Credit: Western United 

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Suzanna Telai
Suzanna Telai
Football enthusiast and student journalist, covering Western United for the 2019/20 A-League season

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